What to Know Before Flying Frontier Airlines, According to Passenger Reviews
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier serving more than 90 destinations across the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. If you're a budget traveler, you're probably familiar with the airline's super-low fares, but first-time Frontier fliers might be wondering if there's a catch to those affordable tickets. Like most budget airlines, low fares often mean fewer inclusions, with extra costs for baggage, seat selection, and more. Of course, that low fare is worth the hassle of understanding the additional fees for some travelers, so we're breaking down the basics and checking out Frontier Airlines reviews to help you decide if it's the right airline for your next trip.
Beyond the flight logistics and fees, there are a few fun facts to know about Frontier Airlines. It's "America's greenest airline," as it has an average 43% fuel savings compared to other American carriers. Plus, every airplane features an animal on its tail to bring awareness to these creatures and their environments.
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There are two basic fare options to choose from: standard and Discount Den. Like other budget airlines, the base fare includes the bare necessities, and everything else costs extra. On Frontier Airlines, standard fares comes with a free personal item, and travelers have the option to purchase a seat assignment and carry-on or checked bags. Discount Den is a membership program that costs $59.99 per year and gives members access to discounted fares and deals, plus kids can fly free on select flights. There are only two types of seats on Frontier aircrafts: standard and slightly roomier Stretch seats.
Travelers can add on expenses like seat selection and bags, or opt for a bundle. Frontier offers two bundles: The Works, which is available at the time of booking on flyfrontier.com and includes a carry-on, checked bag, seat selection, priority boarding, flight flexibility, and 100% refundability, and The Perks, which is available for purchase anytime on the website and includes a carry-on, checked bag, seat selection (not including Stretch seats), and priority boarding. Several online reviewers pointed out that while the base fares are usually inexpensive, the total might be closer to the prices found from airlines like Delta, United, or American because of all the additional fees.
Flight Change and Cancellation Policies
The flight change or cancellation fee is $0 if altered 60 or more days prior to departure, $49 if changed 59 to seven days prior to departure, and $79 if changed six days or less prior to departure (that includes same-day changes and cancellations, too). Those who change their flight will have to pay the difference if the new one has a more expensive fare, but will not receive any residual credit if the new flight is less expensive. Meanwhile, those who cancel will get a travel credit for the value of the fare minus the cancellation fee. The airline has waived change and cancellation fees through Sept. 30, 2021 to allow for more flexibility amid the coronavirus pandemic. Customers who buy The Works bundle can get a full refund for their purchase, and anyone can get a refund for their ticket if canceled up to 24 hours after booking as long as the flight is not within seven days.
Baggage Policies and Fees
Personal items are included in the standard fare and cannot exceed 8 x 18 x 14 inches. Carry-on bags must be 10 x 16 x 24 inches or less and weigh 35 pounds or less. Checked bags must be 62 linear inches or less all together and 50 pounds or less. Charges for both types of bags vary, depending on when you purchase them, so buy your bags online before your flight to save money. To find out how much bags will cost for your trip, visit the Frontier Airlines website and use the Bag Price Checker. One example fare showed that prices for a carry-on ranged from $41 when added during booking to $79 at the airport boarding gate. Checked bags that go over the specified limits will be charged $75 for excess weight and $75 for excess size. Bags over 100 pounds or 110 linear inches will not be accepted.
Seats and Legroom
There are only two seat categories on Frontier Airlines planes: standard and Stretch. Standard seat pitch ranges from 28 to 31 inches and Stretch seat pitch ranges from 36 to 38 inches, depending on the aircraft and location on the plane. Standard pitch for many U.S. carriers is typically around 30 to 31 inches. The general consensus among Tripadvisor reviewers seems to be that the seats are OK for a short flight, but can be uncomfortable for flights over two to three hours.
Amenities and Entertainment
Frontier's a la carte business model means there aren't a ton of amenities on board. There are no TVs or Wi-Fi, so plan to download your favorite shows to your personal device before takeoff. There are also no complimentary snacks or beverages, though a selection of snacks and alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages can be purchased on the plane. In a Tripadvisor review, Virginia M. commented, "The one bad thing was that you're given nothing during the flight, not even water. No drink, no snack. Everything is for purchase and it's not cheap. I paid $3.50 for a can of soda, which is a bit much. The plane has no TVs, so it can get kind of boring, especially if you have nothing on your phone." Another reviewer, Patrick R., echoed the sentiment, saying, "There are no entertainment options on board. No screens, no Wi-Fi, no radio. Make sure you download your songs/movies and some games on your phone in advance to keep you preoccupied because you will be quite bored otherwise."
Frontier Airlines Credit Card
Frontier Airlines has one credit card option: the Frontier Airlines World Mastercard. New cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Other perks include 5x miles on eligible Frontier Airlines purchases, 3x miles on restaurant purchases, and 1x miles on all other purchases, plus a $100 flight voucher after every account anniversary with eligible purchases. There is no annual fee the first year; after that, the annual fee is $79.